Rampage Review

Another bloated and boring summer blockbuster.

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Honestly, I don't want to sound too pretentious or dismissive. I think there is a lot of power in being open to and recognizing the purpose of a film like this and why people love them so much. But this film, like many others, is one that I just can't wrap my head around or muster much to say about it. Where dumb summer blockbusters like last years "Kong: Skull Island" lacked character, a ton of wooden performances, and an interesting story; it made up for it with gorgeous visuals, great special effects, and cool action. Where that film had some success as a "turn-your-brain-off-and-chew-popcorn-for-two-hours" blockbuster, "Rampage" can't even clear those already low bars.

For transparency's sake, I was about 600 words into this review and it deleted it. So I'm not really gonna put the energy or time into a movie like this that doesn't put any energy or time into being an entertaining romp. The creature design is muddy and nonsensical in the worst possible way. The crocodile-elephant-rhino hybrid is one of the stupidest looking things I've seen in a long time. At least the gorilla just got bigger and didn't grow stupid spines and weird facial protrusions like the wolf and crocodile.

You'd also think that a movie with three really large animals would have some cool action, but "Rampage" can't even deliver that.  It is just bland by-the-numbers destruction porn that makes you go numb and look at your watch. Not only that but "Rampage" aggressively tries to top "San Andreas" in its fetishism of killing innocent people. These movies have no context for what pain, impact, and violence are. The crocodile flips a boat and we never see what happens to the hundreds of people on board. All we are treated to is an aerial shot of the devastation left in the wake of this killer croc. There's a point in the film where The Rock gets shot and about two minutes later he just gets back up and says that the shooter missed all of his vital organs. Nothing has an impact and thus nothing matters, so when a giant gorilla hits another giant animal with a crane I couldn't care less. This is the biggest problem with modern blockbusters and it is only getting worse.

If you thought we were out of the woods yet, you have another thing coming. This movie still has enough problems to make an AA meeting jealous. So rather than just sit here all night and list every one off in detail, I'm just going rapid fire get them out of the way so I can forget about this film. OK, here we go:

-I honestly don't know if this can be considered a video game adaptation because the third act is pretty much a CGI smash fest that looks like it came from a game two years ago.

-I'm hard-pressed to think of a film that wastes so much charisma from fun actors like this one. The Rock, Naomi Watts, Jeffery Dean Morgan, and Joe Manganiello all try to charm there ways out of a script that gives each of them characters thinner than tissue paper.

-The story is a jumble of nonsensical pseudo-science that became so boring I found it hard to care about anything other than the gorilla (only because I adore gorillas).


Ok, I'm gonna stop before I hurt my head thinking about how much is wrong with this movie. But I should probably say something good about before I go, so at least the gorilla is cool and he gives The Rock a fistbump so that's something. Next time just have The Rock and the gorilla hang out for like 2 hours, that'd be fun. But instead, we are left with this hollow, lifeless, and boring blockbuster. Just go see "Black Panther" or Ready Player One" if you need your blockbuster fix (Yes, I'm heated from my review being deleted but this movie is still terrible). [F+]

Al Pacino Rating: